Once
an unloved and rather under-used feature of AdWords, the Google Display
Network (GDN) has become the world’s number one ad network, reaching
more than 80% of internet users worldwide.

So is it time to give the GDN
another go?

Earlier
this year, Google rebranded its Content Network to become the Google
Display Network(GDN). With its impressive reach, GDN has clocked up a number
of successful branding campaigns.

For example, Jordan, a division of
Nike, executed an innovative campaign targeting a niche basketball
audience, resulting in 188m impressions and 296,000 clicks over six weeks.

But how does the GDN compare with Google Search when it comes to increasing sales?

American
Laser Centers, an aesthetic services provider, used the Google Display
Network to start a chain reaction of leads and conversions. With GDN
text and image ads they increased conversion by 365% while cutting
impressions in half.

According to Erik Maks, advertising director at American Laser Centers:

“The
Google Display Network has helped us get more bang for our dollar.
We’ve been able to grow scale and maintain our goal costs, putting us in
a strong position”

Here
are three reasons why I think the Google Display Network stands
out at the moment, and why you should consider giving it a go as part of your
online marketing campaign:

Below the fold inventory

In 2009 Google introduced frequency capping
to enable advertisers to manage how often their campaign reached the
right users. This year, they launched a new feature to filter out “below
the fold” inventory, to allow brand advertisers to be more selective
about where ads appear.

When applying this filter, advertisers have the
ability to show ads only in places that appear on the user’s screen when
the page loads, without requiring them to scroll down.

Remarketing

Remarketing
is a new and powerful feature that has allowed advertisers to reach
people that have previously visited their website but didn’t convert.
After driving traffic to their site with search ads, they can then
remarket to those users who reach their site by showing them tailored
ads on sites throughout the GDN.

Campaign Insights Tool

The
Campaign Insights Tool gives reliable data about how a campaign has
raised brand awareness or active user interest in a product or service.
The tool is still only available for US and UK advertisers, but results
so far prove that this is another clever and useful Google idea.

For
example, Hair Club, used the Campaign Insights feature to drive a 40%
uplift in search traffic. According to VP Luke Hubbard:

“We track ROI from our campaigns very closely.
With Google and Campaign Insights, display became measurable and
allowed us to prove an acceptable CPA. We could clearly see the search
traffic and view-through conversions that display generates, and we
gained actionable insights on how to optimise future campaigns.”

What’s your experience of the Google Content Network? What was the impact of the campaign? Please share your comments below.